Forget about buying a jar of pesto that’s chock-full of unhealthy fats and MAKE THIS super-quick, super-easy, super-healthy, homemade pesto. That’s a LOT of superpower people!
About ten years ago I was having dinner in an airport restaurant with my boss, waiting for our plane to head off to a meeting in Germany and he recommended I order the Pesto Pasta. He’d been there before. I was a little hesitant because I had NEVER tried pesto. But, I trusted him and gave it a go. Never have I ever looked back.
How on earth did I get to 29 years old having never tried pesto? As I devoured the pasta, my boss was telling me the instructions for his homemade pesto and reassuring me just how easy it was. So, I made a note of the ingredients and knew it was a recipe I would try at home.
SUPER-GREEN PESTO INGREDIENTS
The ingredients for this sauce are easy to find in a supermarket. And, if you want to change them up, based on what you already have in your cupboards, for your tastes, or your budget, that’s easy to do. It will STILL TASTE GREAT. Here’s my process for selecting pesto ingredients.
I always use basil as the base herb. And lots of it too! It may be controversial, but it’s just not pesto without the basil. Its flavour is unmistakable, in my opinion.
Fresh garlic is another ingredient that that is non-negotiable for me. The distinctive aroma cannot be rivalled, not even with granules – please don’t do it!
Adding a vegetable like kale will super-charge the nutritional value of your pesto. Basil remains the star due to its pungency so you won’t lose that authentic the pesto flavour. However, you could just as easily use spinach, rocket or even broccoli.
Traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts, but I find them to be expensive, so I often pair them up or swap them out with almonds, cashews, pistachios or even an assortment of nuts. In this recipe, I use mainly pistachios with a few pine nuts and almonds. I love the flavour combination, their creamy texture and subtle flavour. But, you can seriously use whatever nuts you have on hand. You could even use some seeds if you want to increase the variety of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
The oil I am using in this recipe is a quality extra virgin olive oil. You could just as easily use avocado oil if you’d prefer. Healthy fats are a necessary inclusion because they add to the flavour and increase satiety. Furthermore, healthy fats help you to absorb the nutrients from all the whole food ingredients that make up the rest of the sauce.
Hard cheeses are key when making pesto. Parmesan, Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano work well. However, buy a block and freshly grate it rather than purchasing pre-grated packs because they will often contain unwelcome anti-caking agents.
To make this pesto vegetarian or vegan, swap out the parmesan and use 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
Lemons and limes lift and brighten pesto. Lemon is the most commonly used ingredient in pesto and brings sweetness along with its acidity, but I am using lime in this recipe. Limes are more bitter than lemon, which compliments this recipe perfectly – even if I do say so myself.🤣 But, swap ’em out based on what you have hanging around.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SUPER-GREEN PESTO?
Now you’ve seen how easy it is to make, why not give homemade pesto a try? It’s great as a dip to dunk some veggies or pitta. It’s fabulous on pasta or smothered over chicken and salmon. You can use it as a spread in sandwiches and paninis or drizzle it over pizzas and salads. Take a bolognese sauce to the next level and add a dollop. There are endless ways to use it.
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS
Homemade Super-Green Pesto
- Food Processor
- Cheese Grater
- Garlic Press
- 70 ml (⅓ Cup) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 60 g (½ Cup) Pistachios
- 45 g (½ Cup) Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 40 g (2 Cups) Basil Washed. Leaves and small stalks are fine to use but discard large stalks
- 40 g (2 Cups) Kale Woody stems removed
- 25 g (¼ Cup) Almonds
- 25 g (¼ Cup) Pinenuts
- 1 Clove Garlic Grated
- 1 Fresh Lime Juiced
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ⅛ tsp Black Pepper
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blitz until you are happy with the texture. Serve and enjoy.
If you get the chance to give this recipe a try, drop me a note in the comment section and provide a star rating. I’d love to know what you think!
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Thank you so much for reading.